You Won’t Believe These Critiques From NFL Players’ Report Card

Reminder: We're talking about a gazillion dollar industry


Mar 1, 2023

The NFL Players Association on Wednesday released its “Player Team Report Cards,” and there are a handful of critiques included that football enthusiasts might find hard to believe given that we’re talking about what feels like a gazillion dollar industry.

For reference, the report cards are a compilation of responses from 1,300 anonymous surveys. NFL players graded how well their own franchises measured up in aspects including: treatment of families, nutrition, weight room, strength staff, training room, training staff, locker room and travel.

Here are some of the results:

— Washington Commanders, who ranked dead last among the 32 teams in team grade: “Finally, there are complaints of a lack of warm water and issues with poor drainage in the showers.” Additionally, players don’t appreciate they’re one of six teams that make young players have roommates.

— Arizona Cardinals, who ranked second to last: “If players would like dinner, it will be boxed up for them, but players reported that the team will charge you via payroll deduction. This is apparently the only Club that does this.” Players also described the weight room as a “safety hazard” and took issue with Arizona downsizing to a smaller plane this year.

— Jacksonville Jaguars, who ranked 28th: “When asked what the number one thing they want changed at their facility, the answer was unanimous — get rid of the rats! Players reported that for 3-4 weeks this season, there was a rat infestation in the locker room and laundry hampers.” Players expressed how their wives nursed their babies on the floor of a public restroom given there’s no “family room.”

— Cincinnati Bengals, who ranked 27th: “The players who responded to the survey also complained that there is nowhere warm and safe for mothers and kids to go during the game because the Bengals do not provide a family room, unlike the majority of teams. Players reported that wives have sat on the public restroom floor to nurse their babies.” Cincinnati also is one of three teams that doesn’t provide dinner to players and the only team that doesn’t provide supplements to players while showers and toilets “do not work.”

— Los Angeles Chargers, who ranked 30th: “Hot tub is often broken, and cold tub is often not cold” while players feel like they are poorly maintained and “gross.”

— Chicago Bears, who ranked 13th: “Players feel like they provide the bare minimum to say they do things for the families, but they do not actually try to take care of them.”

— Kansas City Chiefs, who ranked 29th: Players offered rather alarming feedback about head trainer Rick Burkholder citing “they feel discouraged from reporting their injuries,” and “they fear retribution for speaking up for better care.”

Of course, there was plenty of good to come out of the report, especially for the Minnesota Vikings, Miami Dolphins and Las Vegas Raiders, who ranked first, second and third, respectively. But for those franchises that found themselves on the low end of this rubric, well, it might be time for some changes.

Thumbnail photo via Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports Images
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